Monday, August 11, 2014

11 months -the rains came down and things stayed DRY!

11 MONTHS!!!! What in the world is going on with the way time works? I seriously have no idea how this is going by so fast, especially this last month, time flies when you are having fun! And preaching the Gospel too!

Hey everybody =) 

Everything is going great here in the jungle and this week was definitely one of the most adventurous of the mission! I'm talking blood (only a little), electric shock, and mission impossible! I'll explain here shortly, but firstm I'll reply to your part of the email.

Nobody else has been eaten by jaguars lately, but they also haven't found the one that ate the guy either. No worries about the vacationing, I know how it goes after being on the move so much. How was the temple? I'm jealous that you guys got to go inside it, but am really happy for Sierra and Haylee too =) I haven't been to the temple in about 5 months, the longest since I received my endowment, and will definitely going weekly when I get to BYU. We have a caravan leaving for Manaus this weekend to go and seal families and couples together for the eternities =) This coming year, there will be at least another 7 families that can go too! It's really cool to see how much planning they put into it, and how excited they are to go. Since it is way expensive to fly there, they will be travelling several days by car/bus to get there. 

Utah Mormons can just be happy to be where they are. I served with many of the greatest members I've seen in the Church, and many who were among those not as greatest. It all depends on the person, and in the words of Elder David A. Bednar, "You choose to get offended." So they can just put a sock in it. Serving outside of the US is great! But both missions inside the US and outside the US are full of their own perks and challenges, I think I know that better than most people. But I am really happy to be serving outside of the United States, and to be here in the Jungle. 

I'm glad you got to see Grandma Millie and Grandpa Val, I really miss them a lot. I need to send them a letter or something like that, could you send me their address please? Sarah has written more to them than I have haha. 

And now for my week. First off, Elder Calcanghoto and I are doing great! We are working our tails off and having a blast doing it! He's not as good as Elder Camargos, but everything is still awesome! I also received four letters this week! Two were from Sarah, one was from Constance, and one was from Jared Williams! Did you know the Flakes moved to Australia??? It was great to hear from them all and I am definitely going to keep touch with Jared and Constance now that I have their addresses! Both are doing great! Jared is serving in an area that crosses into Brazil and is learnign a little bit of Portuguese! Constance decorated her envelope with all kinds of stuff from home. She wrote things like, "DC Life!" and even a song the youth made up when we went to Kirtland SIX YEARS AGO! I couldn't stop smiling after that. I then opened one of Sarah's letters and she Dear Johned me...just kidding =p *knock on wood* but she sent me a deflated balloon that  had writing all over it. When I blew it up, it was a really long letter that she had written on the outside of the balloon. Seriously one of the coolest things ever!

Onto the adventures! We were in a lesson the other day and had our portable dvd player with us to watch the Restoration with an investigator. We were about half way through when the battery died. However, we were prapared and had the charger with us and ready. I plugged it into an outlet that was hanging from the cieling (already not the best idea) and we then found out that our charger was broken. I reached out to unplug it, and felt a jolt go through my fingers, up my arm, and into my head! I didn't shout or even jolt, but my companion could tell what had happened. The investigator then says, "Oh, be careful, the copper wire is exposed at the top" to which I replied, "Well now I know that," and we laughed for about 20 minutes about it. I tried to continue teaching, but honestly couldn't because of us laughing haha. No wories, I'm alright and it was nothing. 

I mentioned the minor bleeding, that was nothing too. We were in a service project and were cutting the grass with machetes. Not the best tool to use to cut the grass, but it's all they had. If you hit a rock, it usually chipped and hit you in the legs. There was a little bit of blood from that, then I kicked the crap out of a metal bar that I didn't see, and was bleeding from that too haha. I told the member that I hope she knows we love her enough to give sweat and blood. She said she does =)

Finally, mission impossible. We had been teaching a teenager named Ricardo this week and he had accepted the date to be baptized Sunday (yesterday). He is an all-star and was pretty much in the water. The only problem, he isn't 18, so we have to get permission from the parents. He called his dad on Saturday nightto ask if he could be baptized (we were teaching him in the home of his extended family who have members in the home) and his dad said no. We couldn't believe it, but that's how it goes sometimes. We wanted to talk to his dad, but he wouldn't come home from work until midnight and would leave again at 6am to go to his other job. We were planning to baptize Ricardo after Church (noon) on Sunday, but wouldn't have been able to get the signature from his had if we did that. We were really discouraged and didn't know what to do except talk to his dad this week and keep teaching him until his dad said yes. However, my district leader wanted to go and talk to Ricardo to see if there was anything we could do. We returned to the house where he was and found out that we could visit his dad at work. My district leader and I went to the dad's work on the other side of the city and when we got there, everything was locked up. We pounded on the front door for about 15 minutes waiting for someone to come and answer. No one came, so we had to think about what we would do. I saw a short wall off to the side of the building and realized that if I jumped it, I could walk around to the back and see if there was anyone there. My district leader said I could go, so I went. I felt like James Bond because I was in my shirt and tie, only needed the suit coat. I arrived at the back, and sure enough, there was someone there. He gave me the number to Ricardo's dad, and we gave him a call. His dad said that he could get baptized if he wanted to and he was baptized yesterday!!!! MISSION COMPLETE! And an adventure that I will remember for a long time!

We also saw another miracle this week! When we were teaching that investigator who got me electrocuted, it started to rain harder than I've seen since Manaus. Thunder, lightning, and lots of wind. We even lost power for about an hour. The storm raged for a good hour and a half, and we shortly realized: the windows are open in our house. We were freaking out because all of our things are on the floor, we have no shelves or tables yet, so it is ALL on the floor. We both said silent prayers and quickly returned home after the storm had passed. We got there and everything was perfectly dry! Nothing was even the slightest bit wet! Truly a miracle from Heavenly Father in order to help his missionaries =)

That's all I've got for the week! Hope you enjoy!

Love always, 

Elder Sanderson

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